One of the periods I love to read about is early colonial America. I was drawn to this little novel about the Plymouth settlement 10 years after the Mayflower lands. The story gives us two main points of view: Alice, the governor’s wife who is a Puritan carrying some guilt from marrying her late best friend’s husband and Elizabeth, a woman who came with her husband as an indentured servant and despite being free now, as a commoner and non-Puritan she is marginalized. We see the wide rift between the Puritans who claim to be godly but treat everyone harshly, even themselves. We occasionally get the husband’s points of view as well as a few others but the story is mainly how these two women deal with the roles they have found themselves in. The colony is not the land of milk and honey and neither are getting to live the life they hoped for when they left Europe. The story starts off telling us there will be a murder in the colony and builds backwards and forwards filling in the story of the colony until the day of the murder and the aftermath.
This novel was a like not a love for me. I liked learning about the colony, the life of the Puritans, and the role of women at the time. There was a little detail about the relationship with the Pequot but not enough. I was hoping for more detail, more emotion, more dialogue about the daily hardships of the colony. In the Author’s Note, we hear that this novel references a real event and the report of the governor was scant and this novel fills in some of the details but not enough for me. I liked the premise but I really wanted infinitely more details, at least another 100 pages worth. ⭐️⭐️⭐️
If you read historical fiction, what’s your favorite time period to read about?